Among the extended family I saw over the holiday was a young relative who is working as a substitute teacher in the Northeast since he can’t find a full-time teaching post. He shared a story that surprised me, and I wanted to run it by folks here.
He was subbing at a low-performing high school that recently had a well-publicized stabbing. A student in his class pulled what he thought was a real gun on him, and they had a standoff for several minutes until the teen put the “gun” away and the teacher tackled him to the floor. It turned out the gun was a toy, and the student received a three-day suspension for the incident.
The substitute teacher was disappointed with the punishment, but said the school wanted to prevent another round of negative press.
Would such an incident be kept quiet in Georgia? Could it go so easily unreported under zero tolerance policies in which students can get suspended for Tweety Bird key chains?
And speaking of keeping things quiet, I heard about two Atlanta high schools being on lock down the week before Thanksgiving due to terrorist threats. Apparently, parents at Grady and the New Schools of Carver were not informed of the threats. The person who mentioned it to me felt the incidents spotlighted a troubling lack of coordination between APS and Atlanta Police.
I plan to ask APS about this Monday. Did anyone in either school community get formal notification of these threats?
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog